Political strategists seem to think that Mitt Romney's Swiss bank account and his secretive offshore investment funds are a liability with voters.
Not with me. In fact, Mitt Romney could easily win my vote if he would do one simple thing: Tell me how I can be more like him.
You see, I want my own offshore tax haven. Several in fact, since that seems to be how all the big boys manage their money. Vanity Fair recently reported that Romney has a stake in at least 12 investment funds organized in the Cayman Islands that are linked to his old firm, Bain Capital. Romney's share, according to VF, is worth at least $30 million. He has other investments in Bermuda and perhaps in Luxembourg.
We all should. First, everybody knows you can't trust American banks any more. They only pay 0.00003 percent interest on deposits, plus they charge you $5 every time you wipe your feet on the carpet in their lobby.
So why not travel to Bermuda or the Caymans when you feel like visiting your money, where they serve mai-tais every time you stop in to check your balance, instead of encouraging you to visit the website and stay the hell away from the overpaid tellers? In fact, if my money were based in a tropical locale, I'd probably visit it more often, which would enhance my financial literacy and make me a more responsible spender. Or saver. Or whatever we're supposed to do with our money.
I could also use the tax break for parking my money overseas, whatever that amounts to, because my income hasn't been keeping up with the earnings of the 1 percent. In fact, if Romney were to become president and institute offshore investment vehicles for the masses, he might solve two problems at once by cutting the tax burden for the middle class until it's as low as it is for the wealthy, while starving the government of tax revenue and forcing Medicare recipients to pay their own damn medical bills.
That would allow Romney to replace the Internal Revenue Service with the new External Revenue Service, which all Americans would surely cheer. If there's any resistance among fussy pockets of the populace, Romney could simply make it a government mandate to use offshore tax shelters, since the Supreme Court has already upheld the sort of mandate he imposed on citizens of Massachusetts when he was governor.
Here's something else I'd like Mitt Romney to show me how to do once he's president: Get rich by taking on debt. Bain Capital was apparently brilliant at this when Romney ran it for 15 years. So come on, Mitt, share your secret!
Most of us only get poorer when we take on debt. We devote future earnings to past purchases and fall further and further behind, plus we pay interest that drives up the cost of whatever we buy. Please – show us how to spin leverage into gold, by turning debt into income and saddling somebody else with the losses. America as a whole, in fact, should stop exporting jobs and start exporting losses. Make them somebody else's problem.
Finally, I'd like Mitt to teach me more about Switzerland, since I've never been there. Romney supposedly closed his Swiss bank account in 2010 or 2011, to keep it off the tax returns that he ultimately decided to make public. This is a lost opportunity. Most Americans don't know the ins and outs of a Swiss account, one of the reasons we're all so dumb about money. Mitt could change that.
Democrats complain that Wall Street bankers have a lot of inside advantages that ordinary Americans don't. They want to "level the playing field" by reining in the banks. Forget that! Instead, how about inviting all the rest of us to the bankers' party?
Where is it again? Geneva? Zurich? Bern? Show me the way and I'll punch it right into my GPS. And Mitt, while you're at it, can you loan me some cash for the first-class airfare? I'm a little short this month. But don't worry, once I lever up a little, the money will start rolling in.
Rick Newman is the author of Rebounders: How Winners Pivot From Setback To Success. Follow him on Twitter: @rickjnewman.